Zimbabwe Police Join Hands With Car Dealers On Crime Spree
Zimbabwe police appear to have decided that chasing after protesters does not pay but that crime is the route to go. Several have been arrested in the last few months for robberies, mostly armed robberies, in a move that also shows that there are others within the force whose suffering has not blunted that their sense of right and wrong. Still, the underpaid civil servants in Zimbabwe, including policemen and Intelligence agents will continue to engage in these activities until and unless their working and remuneration conditions are improved
Harare, Zimbabwe, 24 January 2010
Struggling Zimbabwe police officers have been in the news of late quite a lot for engaging in crime activities and the latest case involves a police officer and a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative, together with car dealers.
Police in the Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe have now arrested four people, including the police officer and CIO operative. They have been charged with armed robbery and smuggling.
It was revealed in court that police have recovered two pistols and six cars used to commit the armed robberies. The cars included a Mercedes Benz ML 4X4 vehicle which police say was smuggled into Zimbabwe through Beitbridge Border Post, Zimbabwe's main post on the border with South Africa. They also believe that the gang is larger than the four arrested so far. The armed robbers operated in Mat South province, in southern Zimbabwe, but appears to have been relying on help from a car dealer based in Harare.
The four arrested people are: Rabson Mapurisa, a CIO operative, his brother Herbert Mapurisa , a car dealer, Admire Chihambakwe, a police officer and Misheck Muchemedzi.
Rabson Mapurisa, the CIO operative, broke into the CIO armoury where he stole guns that the gang used to rob its victims. Chihambakwe, the police officer, supplied them with police uniforms with which to pose as law enforcement agents to their victims.
One of those victims, farmer Patrick Dice, was phoned by Chihambakwe who claimed that the police wanted to give him advice on preventing armed robberies. When the gang showed up at his farm, they asked to see where he kept his guns. When he did, the gang pounced, tied him and his family up before bizarrely forcing them to drink some sort of liquid that knocked them out.
When they came to, the police had already arrived and the policemen who attended the scene say the family still appeared "drunk"from the liquid that they had been forced to drink.
The gang had managed to steal 90 000 South African rands, 2 kilograms of gold and jewelery. They helped identify the robbers when they were caught.
The spate of robberies by law enforcement agents is only a reflection of the slave wages being paid to civil servants while Ministers and their cohorts live the life of Riley.
With policemen and CIO agents turning to crime, the question being asked repeatedly by the public and in public is: "Who will police the police".
This is unlikely to end any time soon. The government has no resources to pay police officers or any other civil servants properly. What makes it worse is that these same civil servants see Ministers growing fatter and fatter from ill-gotten wealth, while they reward their supporters and friends with contracts and per diems, while creating room at the donor-funded feeding troughs being set up by the Inclusive Governmenet.
As one civil servants put it last month: "We are not in this together. Tsvangirai, Biti and Mugabe have abandoned us. They are looking out only for themselves."
Which could not be truer.
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